Vote for The EAC in the National Competition ‘Stuk van het Jaar’

October 3rd 2013

The voting for the national archival competition Stuk van het Jaar is now open. Many archives in the Netherlands have submitted their most special, beautiful, quirky, or interesting pieces. The competition coincides with the annual History Month, and voting closes on October 27th. Vote for the Expatriate Archive Centre at:

The Expatriate Archive Centre gathered together five different pieces in August and asked their friends and supporters to vote for the final piece. The selected piece was a photograph of an intrepid Dutch expat home-brewing alcohol in 1970s Libya. It highlights the adventurous spirit of expats who sometimes find themselves adjusting to cultures very different from their own.

Making Alcohol in 1970s Libya

From a fascinating collection donated by a Dutch couple who moved all over the world – including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Congo, Libya, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria – because of the husband’s job with KLM. In his account of his family’s time in Tripoli, Libya, from 1971 – 1974 he recounts what life was like for foreigners. Clubs were forbidden and you could not have more than 8 people in your house without permission, and if permission was granted, there would be two Libyans standing outside the house on guard. The family began to make their own alcohol, in a country where the sale and consumption of alcohol is banned, with a detailed account of the process included in the collection – starting with a pressure cooker which was found to be too small, and eventually progressing to jerrycans and milk churns.


Vote Now

Please support the Expatriate Archive Centre by voting for us in Stuk van het Jaar. The page is in Dutch, you can vote by clicking on the “Stem” button at the following link:

Thankyou for your vote!

Categories: Articles

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EAC Researcher Nominated for Thesis Prize

October 1st 2013

Mara Sfountouri, former intern and researcher at the Expatriate Archive Centre (EAC), has been longlisted for the Volkskrant-IISG thesis prize. Mara wrote her Master’s thesis, Writing home. National identity in expatriates’ letters, 1978-2009, based on material from the collection of the EAC.

Mara summarises her thesis, “The concept of national identity has caused several academic debates throughout the years. Especially after the 1980’s, the processes of globalization and migration induced a rise of nationalism on both sides of the Atlantic and stimulated the research on national identities. As a result, most studies on national identity concern either the native populations and how they experience globalization and migration within the boundaries of their own country, or the immigrants, and the way their sense of national identity gets affected by migrating to a foreign land. It is a fact though that expatriation, meaning working or studying in a foreign country for a specific period of time, is a practice which also exemplifies the globalizing world of today’s era.”


“Within this framework, it is remarkable that hardly any historical studies deal with the practice of expatriation in the light of national identity. Hence, there is a historiographical gap that my research aims to cover. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the ways two expatriate families identify with their homeland, while living abroad in the period 1978-2009, as this procedure is expressed through their private correspondences. More specifically, I aim to discover how these expatriates’ national identity is being negotiated and (re)adapted while living far away from their own country. I also investigate what the role of homesickness and nostalgia is within this process, and how these feelings are (not) affected by the introduction of new communication technologies in the course of the 1990’s.”

Mara also gave a well-received presentation (see below) about her research at the academic symposium, The Expatriate Experience: Past and Present, organised by the EAC in The Hague in April this year. The EAC would like to congratulate Mara on her nomination and wish her all the best for her future studies.

See all the nominations for the Volkskrant-IISG thesis prize.

Presentation given by Mara at the symposium The Expatriate Experience: Past and Present in The Hague, April 2013.

Categories: Research

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